Monday, November 12, 2012

Tonya Cannariato - Dementional - Author Interview

Author Interview 

1. How did you come up with the title?
I had really struggled with the title for my first book, so I was surprised when this title presented itself almost before I started writing the book. My original concept had related to a person's inability to determine whether they were sane or insane as they slipped through demensions, so a combination of dementia and dimensional seemed a logical progression. And unique enough I wouldn't have any competition for the title.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The book started based on my worry that our science is outpacing our spiritual maturity/capacity to handle or understand the truths we're facing. In particular, there seems an almost callous superciliousness to concerns that we really don't know what we don't know, so we can't know the actual parameters for danger we're introducing with some of our sub-atomic experiments. I'm not really a conspiracy nut or sky-is-falling kind of person either, but when I read speculation about what COULD happen on the basis of turning on the Large Hadron COllider, my imagination went wild. What if the reason we've never been able to understand what animates our bodies is because something like the Higgs field forces the merging of our Spirit's energy with the matter of our bodies? What if losing a Higgs boson would knock us out of our bodies? And what if losing that coherence were the key to traveling dimensionally?

It's a complete geek-out on my part, and I figured it would have an audience of five while I was writing it. That it's already sold more than that makes me happy that I'm not alone in my geek interests.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
The basic science comes from what I learned in school about physics and biology, and what I've read in various media coverage about new research on the LHC. (Can I just say here, I LOVE Discovery News?) As for what it might be like to occupy other bodies, or even whether the Higgs field is the connection between the parallel universes posited in some variations of the string theory, those are my inventions for the sake of the story, and the sake of noodling with the intersection of science and spirituality.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
When I wrote it, I had so much fun imagining Mark in crazy "bodies" and playing with funhouse mirror expectations, including the mutable nature of time, that ending with a closed loop experience made a lot of sense. It made me think this was just a stand-alone novel. With additional feedback and re-reading, though... I'm thinking there's another half to the story.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
It was a NaNoWriMo novel, so keeping up with the word count requirements in the midst of travel and family commitments was a real challenge. It made my writing more flowery than it needed to be, so the editing process meant trimming more fat than I had expected.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It's my second novel, and really reinforced my earlier conclusion that writing to that length is an endurance challenge more than anything else.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I remember before I ever learned to print drawing scribbles on pages and binding them together to say I was writing a book. I'm not sure if it was because one of my great aunts was an author or if it was because my mom, her mom, and both her grandparents on her mom's side had worked as teachers, but literacy and reading were not optional in my family. So I don't think I really had much choice but to love words and playing with them.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Anne McCaffrey is hands down my favorite author. I love that she built a world that she could return to time and again over the course of over 20 novels and continue to find new corners to flesh out that were true to the original vision and satisfying to me as a reader. She made Pern my happy place.

9. Tell us your latest news.
I've just released my first short story in honor of Halloween. It's a lot darker than anything I'd ever thought I'd write, but was again based on speculation sparked by reading the news. This time it was coverage of the legislative process in Egypt, where there was some movement earlier this year to legalize sexual relations with your dead wife for up to 6 hours after her death. It was such a bizarre premise I had to figure out how to explore the idea.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for reading--not just my books, but books at all. I love the idea that by reading we open ourselves to new experiences, and the thing I love about speculative fiction is that it offers a way to approach difficult subjects from a new perspective. So I'm more than glad that anyone would choose to walk the paths I outline with my words.

About the Book

Mark Inman has two loves: particle physics and Sarah. She agrees to become his wife at the same time his experiment to find the Higgs boson goes off the rails.

Journey with Mark while his existence melts and reforms in unpredictable ways as the veils between realities thin. His exploration of the minutiae of quantum physics builds a fascinating tapestry of alternate universes.

His search for survival, and the search for meaning and what is real, drive Mark as he experiences lives he never dreamed possible. His only touchstones: find Sarah and find his way home.

Prices/Formats: $7.99 paperback, $4.99 ebook
Pages: 204
Genre: Science Fiction / Romance
Publisher: Katarr Kanticles Press
Release Date: August 25, 2012
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle

About the Author

A voracious reader since she was a toddler, and an ordained spiritualist, Tonya Cannariato has now presided over the marriage of her love of reading and her love of writing. She’s lived a nomadic life, following first her parents in their Foreign Service career through Africa, Europe, and Asia, and then her own nose criss-crossing America as she’s gotten old enough to make those choices for herself. She’s currently based in Milwaukee with her three loves: her husband and two Siberian Huskies. She suspects her Huskies of mystical alchemy with their joyous liberation of her muse and other magical beings for her inspiration. She loves to sleep, to watch her interesting dreams, some of which are now finding new life in written form.

Links to connect with Tonya:

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  1. Thanks for posting the wonderful interview and being a part of the tour! :)

  2. Replies
    1. You're very welcome, Tonya! Thanks for stopping by to comment.